Nier: Automata's Yoko Taro says the beloved RPG was "most inspired" by Neon Genesis Evangelion: "It's pretty much just a retelling of Evangelion, so there's not much originality to it"

Nier director Yoko Taro says the work that inspired Nier: Automata the most was Neon Genesis Evangelion, so much so that the RPG's story is "pretty much just a retelling of Evangelion, so there's not much originality to it."

Speaking to IGN Japan, Taro answers a question about what works he's been inspired by. After all, the interview is done alongside Stellar Blade director Hyung-Tae Kim, who hasn't been shy about sharing his Battle Angel Alita and Blade Runner inspirations. A fair, simple question, but you know Yoko Taro doesn't disappoint with his answer.

"The work I was most inspired by is Neon Genesis Evangelion," he says. "I thank you for praising Nier: Automata's story, but actually it's pretty much just a retelling of Evangelion, so there's not much originality to it. I don't really watch recent movies, so I'm mostly inspired by memories of works I saw in the past."

Kim adds: "I was inspired by Evangelion as well. It's not easy to create something that surpasses your inspiration source. In that regard, Nier: Automata has a unique taste that only you could make. I really envy that. 

"I'm a visualist and not a storyteller. I have always focused on how something looks, so I can't compare to Mr. Yoko when it comes to the story department, but I believe that Stellar Blade's gameplay makes up for that shortcoming."

Taro's signature self-deprecating humor is on display, then, though seeing Kim weigh in to offer him a compliment is some endearing content I didn't expect to be reading this morning. 

As for the links between Nier: Automata and Neon Genesis Evangelion, it's not so much how the shared commonalities of mysterious organizations fighting for the 'future of humanity,' extra-terrestrial invaders, or cool robots, but the somber themes of humanity that both speak on. That, and the fact you'll need a good lie down after finishing either of them.

As it goes gold, Stellar Blade dev says "many people felt we were out of our mind" for trying to make a full-fat action RPG in Korea's mobile-dominated market, but not Yoko Taro.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.